Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Answer Is...

Sorry to keep you all in suspense!  Announcements had to be made in other places before we could reveal this publicly and well, you know how the web is... 

Sarah was close.  Alaska was a good guess.  After all, it's almost the same thing!  Parts of Alaska look just like this place we are moving to.  They both have dreadful mosquitoes and snow more than half the year!  And northern lights, and hoarfrost, and hot chocolate... I'm looking forward to it.  (I mean, I'm trying to talk myself into looking forward to it. Let's be honest here.) 

But Jenn is the lucky winner -- we are moving to MINNESOTA!!   

Now, I need to make something clear here.  I will admit, this does look a bit suspicious.  My husband's brother and his family live there, my mom's sister lives there, and PLAIN JANE lives there!!  Those are all good things.  I know what you are thinking.  The Diamonds women pressed sore upon the man of the house to move, so we could be with family and friends. No, that is NOT what happened. My husband does not make decisions that way.  If we had begged him to move, he would have said, "Tough it out. Man up, ladies."

If you are in a church where some sort of man-made governing board decides where God's preachers go, you are not going to understand this.  But let me explain anyway.

Almost fifteen years ago when my husband and I and two little girls left Minnesota, my husband said to the Lord, "I am NEVER going back."  He should not have said that.  He should have already learned  that God does what he wants to do with his servants. Mr. Diamonds had planned to move SOUTH (away from snow and cold weather!), and the Lord had us moving to Alberta at that time. (That is NOT south, unless you are at the North Pole or something.) A few years later, as we were driving through the Kingman, AZ area, I told my husband I would NEVER live in that desolation.  *ahem*  We are 35 miles from there. Now we should both know better than to say NEVER.  I hope.

Several years later the Lord planted a seed in my husband's heart, a seed so small that it was summarily dismissed.  No way.  Not Minnesota. Never going back there, remember? We were in beautiful, warm, mountainous Arizona in a fine church, where God had just sent us two years before.  End of subject. My dear husband didn't even tell his wife about the seed.  But it was still there, slowly germinating. 

And then God poured Miracle-Gro on it.  Our trip to Minnesota last summer was NOT a scouting mission, but as we drove through the eastern mid-section of the state, my husband began to be burdened for a gospel-preaching, historic Baptist church in that area.  He began to pray the Lord would send a man to start a church there, having no idea that HE was the man!  The burden grew greater, but there is a big difference between a burden and a CALL.  After more praying and fasting, my dear husband knew. It was a call.

We were not looking to go anywhere else, or even hoping to. It is a blessing to us that God is sending us to a place that we are familiar with, and where we already know people.  This is a fringe benefit of my husband's obedience to him. As the under-shepherd of the flock here, my husband has, with much prayer, appointed another man to take his place.  No shepherd leaves his flock without committing them to the care of another worthy shepherd. 

I have mixed feelings.  Suddenly the desert looks amazingly beautiful to me!  (Honest, Shani!)  Suddenly I have realized many of my faults and failings in this place, and I am ashamed of my struggles here.  I could have loved living here for seven years, instead of only one!  Pray for me, that I will not make the same mistakes in our new home and in our new church. I am moving with anticipation as well as with fear.

Our date of departure is April 22, Lord willing.  Yard sale on the 15th.  That means I have only... 8 weeks to pack!!!  And do my eBaying... and clean... and say goodbye...

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Cat

has finally been allowed to escape the bag!  Do you know how hard it is for five women to keep a secret?  It's not so much that it's a secret, but there were people who needed to hear it from the proper source before we were allowed to blab.  The cat is out.

I don't think I have ever felt so elated and so disappointed at the same time.  When we moved to Arizona seven+ years ago, I dutifully followed my husband's lead (as he was following the Lord's lead) but on the inside, to my shame, I was kicking and screaming.  For a long time I didn't even WANT to like this environment, and I didn't.  Somehow, in the past year or so, I have come to love this valley.  It is harsh, but is beautiful. The power of God is seen everywhere, as are his judgment and his mercy.  I love the feeling of the sun on my bones.  Unless you have been here, you don't know what that is.  The heat goes all the way through your body, and it feels GOOD.  Our church family has been wonderful to us, and we love them dearly.  But I am looking forward to what God is going to do with us now.

When you get a new puppy, you hold him real close until he stops wiggling.  This is to establish the fact that you are the master, and he is the dog, and not the other way around.  When he submits to your hold and relaxes his body, you can put him down.  God is the Master, and I am the puppy.  He picked me up and held me tight.  I stubbornly struggled against his will.  And now that I have humbled myself and decided I like it right here in his will, he has let me go!  But wait!  He has not really let me go.  I am still in his arms.  Psalm 31:14,15  But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand.  He is still holding me, but he is moving me.  As a matter of fact, he is moving my whole family. And he is going with us.

You won't believe it when I tell you where...

Goodbye, mountains.

Goodbye, Diamonds in the Rough.  It won't be so rough where we are going. Not in the same way.  I might need a new blog name.  We are still rough, though, so maybe I will keep it.

Goodbye, quartz hunting.

Goodbye, mountain biking!
Goodbye, north wind. (Not really.  That's wishful thinking.  We'll have lots of north wind in our new home!)

Goodbye, Hoover Dam and Boulder City.

Goodbye, bone-warming sunshine.

Goodbye, beautiful, clean Lake Mohave.

Goodbye, Pacific Ocean!

Goodbye, cactus!

Goodbye, 119 degree days. (Yay!)

Goodbye MBC, friends, violin students, goatheads and dear grandparents... Smith's, Dr. White, Colorado River Homeschoolers, Green River 4-H Club, my hair lady, good neighbors, pigeons, feral cats, coyotes, road-runners, and burros.  

We're getting ready to say HELLO to...

Well, I'll keep you in suspense for a teeny bit.  :)  Here's a hint:

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: 
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
Proverb 31:21

(I know you're going to laugh at us when I tell you... Be nice.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Posts to Share

Welcome back to my blog.  We were out of town for a few days for a really great meeting.  If you ever see the book America in Crimson Red, by James Beller, pick it up! And read it!  I guarantee you will learn something about the history of our nation that you did not know before.  James Beller was one of the main speakers at this meeting, and the other was Dr. Ben Townsend, who is the director of the Ecclesiastical Law Center.  Occasionally you meet someone who has so MUCH to give that you wish they would live on this earth forevermore to steer this generation of Americans, and all the future ones, too!  Both of these men are that sort.  What a great time we had.  All except the food poisoning! We survived a verrry long drive home, with many bathroom stops and even one stop behind a bush, but we are all still very glad we went.  It was sooo worth it.

I have been collecting starred items in my reader.  Lacking any mental presence at the moment, which condition is preventing me from writing my own interesting post, I will just share them with you.  Enjoy!

  • Sherry at Large Family Mothering, on Delayed Learning and the Well-Educated Child"More schooling does not produce people that can think; it produces people that are more easily led."  This is a very good read.  Early childhood education is not what it's cracked up to be.  If you are feeling pressured to keep your little ones abreast of your neighbors' and extended family members' children academically, read this and relax.
  • The Art of Manliness, on Lesson on Manliness From Atticus Finch.  Remember him?  He was the protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird, required reading in my eighth grade English class. Atticus said, "...before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”  I am not recommending this book to any of my girls yet, but as fiction goes, it is a good story and is filled with great life lessons.

Now I'll have to go back and read my own recommendations more closely... but where is the time??

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Overheard in My House

(Not my Emily.  The hair is the only resemblance.)

Mom:  Emily, have you brushed your hair today?

Emily:  Yes.

Mom, smiling:  Which one?

Emily:  Both.


Sixteen year old daughter:  "No one understands me!"

(Spoken while muttering in Hebrew all the day long.) 

אני אוהב אותך, את הבת שלי.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Chore System and Etc.

In spite of my having tried over and over again (however weakly) to establish a good chore system in the Diamonds in the Rough household, nothing has really worked. (More evidence that we are still "rough".)  The weakest link has always been the mother, who is not very consistent at following through and making sure these things are done -- except for the obvious ones, like dishes still in the sink.  As for laundry, I don't have to even think about the girls' wash. That was assigned to the older girls ages ago.:)

SmocketyFrocks has posted a wonderful chore chart!  With a bit of ingenuity I made one (backwards and inside out -- who reads directions?), and it's working!

The pink sections are for weekly jobs, and the yellow are to be done daily.  The jobs in the center are to be done weekly, too, but I forgot to highlight them.  The center part of the chart rotates one job to the right each Monday morning.  This way, each girl does each job for three weeks, with a bit of variation each week.  A bit of FunTac behind the middle circle keeps it from spinning accidentally (or on purpose, hmm), and us from losing our place. The flower in the center is a shank button with safety pin on the reverse side.

It needs a bit of tweaking.  Emily is not big enough to handle the supper dishes by herself, and Elisabeth can't stand anything crumbly or slimy in her dishwater, so I have been washing for both girls while they dry and put away.  Hence I am washing a lot more dishes than I was before the new system.  Also, I need to add "wipe out the van" with "set table".  

The girls have been quite willing to serve cheerfully, which is a huge blessing!  Thank you, my lovelies!

Yesterday I began my ruthless decluttering, taking the wise Biblical advice of a good friend -- BE THE EXAMPLE!!!   While I did get rid of two large boxes, the stuff that was in them was mostly hoarded and repacked in other boxes that had empty space. lol.  I was not as ruthless as I had hoped, but the closet looks better anyway.  That was the upper shelving.  Now for the clothes and the floor.

Also in the news: T-Tapp is working!!  Yippee!!  Always the skeptic, I am becoming a believer in spite of myself.  Who would have believed a fifteen minute workout could deliver results in a week?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Missing Photo

Found it!  Amy's three here.  Isn't she cute?  She has the face of a little imp.  And mischief, she was!  Still is. :)

I love you, Amy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

January 2011 in Review

2011.  I think I have written the date out twice since the new year began.  It feels funny like it always does when January 1 rolls around. :)  When we were kids I could not imagine living into the 2000's -- it just seemed too far away.  And here we are, already into their second decade!  The Lord has stuck with me all this time, and I am just so glad I know him, or rather, that I am known of him.  God is so faithful.  What a blessed life I live.

In January:

We continued with Emily's home-making skills:

Betsy caught a geography bug.  She wanted to learn about one country each week, cooking a regional recipe each Tuesday and writing a report.  That didn't last long, but she did make this recipe from Botswana, spaghetti with broccoli and garlic.  Who would have ever thought spaghetti would be an African food?  Well, why not.  We eat plenty of it here in America!  It was very easy and quite tasty.  I can never leave a recipe alone, so we added some chicken. 

Amy had a birthday!  Number 14, it was.  This is her now:
Rare photo of Amy without camera around her neck.

This was her when she was two years old:

Nevermind.  I can't find a photo!  My album stopped when she was a baby.  See how far behind I am with that stuff?  Better add it to my To-Do Someday list.  Anyway, I am very blessed to have this creative and fun and helpful daughter!  Her goal in life is to have children, play with children, take photos of children, and love children.  I don't think she cares if she ever gets married, though.  Maybe she'll be a Baptist Amy Carmichael or something.  But here in America.  :)  Or she could work for a disaster clean-up crew.  
Doesn't she do a good job? 

My dear parents came for Amy's birthday, and we played Quirkle:

We had a good school day in January. :)  Would they all went like this one did!

They look so content.  (Looks are deceiving.) We hit a wall with algebra again.  I think I am creating some big math monsters, changing curricula every time we get stuck.  It is NOT going well, and I'm sure it's me.  (Oh dear.)

Alison and Amy helped at Kings Kids, assisting the children to memorize scripture:

 We enjoyed crepes a la Betsy again:

Alison and Amy practiced a happy tune for their mother's pleasure.

And, we played outside!

In our short sleeves!  :)

Last but not least, Monocogman rode his bike home from Boulder City.  This was to keep up with his dad in their annual bike mileage competition.  Sadly, he is already behind in spite of this eighty-four mile, downhill ride with the wind at his back.. Downhill except for the 18 miles of climbing. Poor Monocogman.

We girls dropped him off then enjoyed a frigid picnic, an afternoon at the wonderful Boulder City Library, and some window shopping.  We also had the privilege of watching a glass-blower making a little plant buddy for Emily. He had an exquisite glass carriage with horses in his shop for only $100,000.  That was a bit out of our price range, but we sure did enjoy the freebie!  Committing a slender piece of fragile glass to a seven-year-old ended just the way you think -- it broke on the way home. :(

We hope all of you in climes north and east of us are keeping warm and enjoying your ice and snow! ♥

The entrance of thy words giveth light;
it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Psalm 118:130

Oh My, It's That Time Already

How did it get to be February already?  I have a month in review due, as well as my church ladies' newsletter!  This might be a good time to post my to-do list.  It has all sorts of stuff on it, big projects as well as some that would only take five minutes, if I would ever get to them.  One of the things that is NOT on my list for today is blogging. :(  (But as you can see, I did it anyway.) So here it is, and I am going to get to work:

Sometime Very Soon
respond to all the nice comments my friends have left
January-in-review post
oil cabinet door hinges
order Emily's science
SS lesson
ladies' meeting?
finish summer vacation blog post!!!!!!!!!
eBay some books and stuff
make pink skirt
yard sale
ruthlessly declutter
Email Mrs T
get a knife sharpener
plan high school
drop a size or two

ladies' coffee hour
brush my teeth and do hair (I put it all on the list so I can cross off more things!)
clean bathroom
fix kitchen sink drain
supper ??????
MAKE MORE BLUEBERRY BREAD PUDDING  -- this is top priority!

Okay.  Going now.  Keep warm, and have a great blustery day!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...